Heinz strike looms after vote

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WORKERS at a Wigan distribution centre have voted to ballot for industrial action in a row over pay and conditions.

Around 45 members of staff at the Wincanton and Heinz re-pack department on Fourmarts Road in Kitt Green took the step after being told they faced the choice between a pay cut or redundancy.

The ultimatum from bosses came after logistics company Wincanton was told it had to find around £260,000 in savings to keep its contract with Heinz to provide the re-packing service.

Staff said the problems began after Wincanton took on a number of workers to carry out tasks which do not involve handling machinery or driving forklift trucks on lower wages.

The department’s employees have now been told they must accept the same terms as the new workers or lose their jobs.

After meeting with officers from the United Road Transport Union they have decided to hold a ballot for strike action.

One worker, who asked not to be named, said: “There’s a lot of scared people who can’t afford to take a pay cut but need to work to support their families.”

The union and Wincanton were approached, but neither had commented at the time of going to press.